Greetings from the Pitch for Awareness national tour (PFA).
Not much has happened since I last posted in June 2015. I did get one more pitch – at the Atlanta Braves in July 2015 – bringing my total to 24 stadiums. (A big shout out to David and Penelope Schmidt in Georgia for securing my pitch invite in Atlanta.)
I still have 6 more teams to go – NY Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, MN Twins, CO Rockies, Oakland Athletics, and the LA Angels. Each of these teams has turned down my pitch request multiple times in the past. So I am always looking for new ways to get my pitching foot in the door with any/all of them. If you have any ideas, please share them with me.
It was also a tough couple of years for me personally. In spring 2017 I lost my best friend to cancer. And a year later my mom passed away at the age of 90. As a result, my heart just wasn’t into baseball.
One of my goals for the PFA tour was to be the first person to throw out a first pitch at all 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) stadiums. Unfortunately, someone beat me to it.
Hailey Dawson is 8 years old. Born with an underdeveloped right hand, she was fitted with a robotic hand made by a 3-D printer. Hailey dreams of one day pitching in the big leagues. So she set out to pitch at all 30 MLB stadiums. Long story short – she beat me to it. Here’s her story
So while I won’t be the first person at the finish line, I hope to someday cross that threshold. Being the first was one of my goals, but not the only goal. I hope to visit more stadiums so that, like Hailey, I can continue to spread my message of the awareness of the ABILITIES of persons with disabilities.
Although I wasn’t on the field for the past 3 seasons, I have been in the stands for several MLB occasions.
The 2016 MLB All Star game was held at Petco Park here in San Diego. I had the good fortune of meeting Mary and Lisa at Fan Fest earlier that week and through Lisa’s generosity, I got to attend my first All Star game.
Later that season, again through Lisa, I attended my very first MLB playoff game and got to root for my Washington Nationals when they played game 4 of the NLDS against the LA Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Unfortunately the Nats lost 6-5 that day, and eventually lost the series to the Dodgers.
The 2017 season brought another first – my first World Series game. Again through Lisa’s generosity, I was back at Dodger Stadium to watch game 2 of the series that pitted the Dodgers against the Houston Astros. The game was like a heavyweight slugfest with several home runs and multiple lead changes. Finally in the 11th inning, the Astros landed the final blow and walked away with a 7-6 victory.
And this season (2018), just like the Dodgers, I was back at game 5 of the World Series. This time I got to watch the Boston Red Sox win the World Series. It made for a lot of unhappy Dodger fans, but it made for much less traffic on the way out after the game.
Back to the PFA tour – I have some “new leads” for pitch invites, and I will set the wheels in motion this off-season. Depending on my success, it may be my last season. I turn 60 in March, so retirement from the baseball diamond begins to appear on the horizon. But I promise to give it my all to try and reach the elusive 6 teams that remain.
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season. Stay safe.